Brooke Birmingham & Shape Magazine
There’s a blogger, brookenotonadiet.com, who has been writing about her incredible weight loss journey online since 2009 and she lost a considerable amount of weight. In the process, she’s inspired thousands. Someone at Shape Magazine discovered her and wanted to share her story with more people who they thought would be interested in her success story. They exchanged a few e-mails, the blogger sent an innocent photo, and Shape Magazine ultimately rejected her because she was wearing a bikini top in the photo and Shape claims they don’t use photos like that. They wanted her to send another photo fully clothed.
I don’t read Shape Magazine…or anything like that because I think they are stupid…but the blogger claims that Shape uses photos of men and women in bikinis all the time. The blogger wrote this:
Again, not happy about it. I was to be a part of their Success Stories feature on the website, where there are women in bikinis. Why all of the sudden was it ‘their policy’?
I did a simple search myself to see what the Shape Magazine web site looks like and I found several photos, right up front, with women wearing something similar to the blogger’s photo…and a few other photos at Shape with women wearing far less. There’s one I saw on the sidebar of a woman in a bikini bottom that looks more like a band aid. In fact, there is even one of that hideous, untalented creature, Bethenny Frankel, the high profile reality TV name from fresh hell, wearing a hot pink bikini on a beach. I can’t post their content here legally, and I’m not trashing my blog with a screen shot of Frankel, but you can check it out with this quick link.
The diet blogger has shared the innocent photo she sent to Shape on her blog, screen shots of her e-mail correspondence with Shape Magazine and you can read Shape’s comments about not posting photos with bikinis, verbatim.
But I think this is the most important part of the blogger’s most recent post discussing all this. She’s been honest and up front:
The whole thing still really frustrates me because I don’t feel like my body was given the same respect as others on their site. Why all of the sudden is it their policy to have fully clothed people? The reporter stated that she wasn’t sure if someone had complained about the previous photos to Shape or not. But in my eyes if someone is complaining about them featuring women in bikinis, then again they shouldn’t have them anywhere on the site.
If anything, the should want my picture on their site. My body is real, not photoshopped or hidden because I feel like I should be ashamed. This is a body after losing 172 pounds, a body that has done amazing things, and looks AMAZING in a freaking bikini.
You can read the blogger’s full post here. And here’s an article about it on Yahoo.
My only comment comes from a blogger’s POV. As a blogger I often post things you wouldn’t normally see in larger magazines or web sites like Shape. Partly because they don’t let you say fuck there and partly because I don’t like censorship of any kind. Magazines like Shape are selling a brand and an image and there’s always a spin and a twist. This kind of old time advertising, branding, and journalism has been going on since the early part of the last century and I think bloggers like brookenotonadiet.com(and me) are sick of it and they are fighting back in their own small ways. I think readers are, too. So as a blogger supporting another blogger I would just like to say thank you to Brooke for standing up for her right to free speech and for standing up for her personal beliefs. She may or may not know it, but this goes way deeper than diet. This is about integrity and censorship.
I think Shape Magazine, and all other publications in the floundering magazine industry, should focus less on repulsive names like Frankel and really pay closer attention to what people are interested in reading about now. I agree with Brooke and I think they would have been doing their readership a service by posting the feature and using Brooke’s original photo.
I often post about how many gay men tend to remain blank for most of their lives on their sexuality, especially gay men in the public eye. And most especially successful gay male writers. If you are openly gay you are expected to write gay content. If no one knows you can write about anything you want and no one will question you. This piece about playwright, Alan Bennett, is a good example of this. For most of his life and career he didn’t want to be labeled gay.
‘My objection about people knowing more about one’s private life was that I didn’t want to be put in a pigeonhole,’ he said, in a celebration of his career on a his regrets of not being more open about his sexuality earlier.
You can read more here, where Bennett mentions a few of his regrets.
The odd twist here is that gay men like Bennett are the ones we need the most because they help break the stereotypes. I don’t think Bethenny Frankel would dare to treat Bennett like a pet poodle.
Johnny Weir AGAIN
I almost didn’t post about this. I just want him to go away. But because I have been posting about Johnny Weir’s odd marriage/divorce to Victor Voronov I guess I should do a follow up. I even know how to spell Voronov without looking it up anymore, unfortunately.
Anyway, after several public shitstorms that garnered them both a great deal of unwarranted attention, Weir and his husband have decided to reconcile. And Weir tweeted about it. (How else?) Can’t you just picture him sitting there rewriting the tweet over and over again before he enters it.
‘My husband and I have happily reconciled,’ Weir tweeted. ‘Please respect our privacy and integrity at this time.’
Yes, Weir actually used the word integrity. This is coming from a man who thought it was more important to support the Russian Olympics than it was to support equal rights for gays.